Looking to transition into the corporate world after a successful military career and looking for a company that will invest in your development, offer uncapped compensation and unlimited career growth opportunities? Here, Bijou Casende and Joy Miller, Midsize Enterprise Recruiters who have been heavily involved with veteran hiring, share some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions for those curious about a sales career at Gartner.
What are some options for me if I’m interested in sales but would like to know more before applying?
Studies show that you’re more likely to buy an item you can try, which explains all the random stations in Costco and Publix. Here at Gartner, we find many veterans are in the same spot when they’re transitioning out of the military. They either aren’t sure of what they want to spend the next chapter of their life doing or they aren’t sure which skills translate well from the last chapter of their life. In each scenario, they would benefit from a program in which they get to sample what it would be like to work before accepting an offer.
The Veteran Sales Discovery Program is a week-long event through which transitioning veterans can experience and see what goes into strategically advising prospective clients on the value Gartner can add to their day-to-day business (and bottom line). If you’re selected to participate in the program, we cover flights/transportation, room and board, and you focus on taking in as much as possible, vetting the opportunity to answer the most important question, “Will I be happy and successful here?” You can expect training, simulations and tons of on-the-floor action — everything to give you the closest feeling to reality. At the end of the week, a final interview is held with our sales leaders if you decide you’re interested in pursuing a sales position at Gartner If you decide a career in sales is not for you, then we hope you leave having made some incredible friends and can share the positive experience with your community — at no cost to you.
When we interview veteran candidates, one of the first questions we ask our veterans during an interview is, “What top 3 things do you envision doing on an ongoing basis to bring yourself job fulfillment?” A lot of times, our interviewees are surprised to break down their thoughts in this way because typically they’ve thought of “titles” of what they want to hold like, “project manager,” “consulting,” “information technology guru,” etc. When they break it down into thoughts like, “solving problems,” “working collaboratively on a team,” “helping companies identify gaps within their strategy and vision and offering a solution.” they are actually describing what a consultative sales role is like at Gartner.
As an account executive or business developer for our Midsize Enterprise accounts (clients whose revenue is less than a billion dollars), you’re identifying businesses’ mission-critical priorities and helping those companies make better business decisions at the highest level of an organization. You impact a C level executive’s initiatives and become a strategic sales advisor and extension to these companies.
Moreover, skills that you’ve acquired during your military career translate extremely well — negotiations, presentations to senior officers, working quickly to accomplish a mission or task, and influencing a senior commanding officer to think about a challenge or goal in a different way than he or she was already seeing the situation all align to a sales career at Gartner.
I’ve heard Gartner hires on traits. What are they, and why are veterans seen as being so strong in them?
The traits that Gartner hires for within our MSE sales channels are: Executive Presence, Pursues Pathways to Gold, Will to Win, Quick Learner, Lifelong Learner and Integrity. We give our candidates a rating in each of these traits ranging from Poor to Rockstar. Our veteran candidates tend to be Superior to Rockstar across the board in these traits. Here is a definition of each one:
- Executive Presence: Professional conduct and ability to influence stakeholders through effective communication (think about a time you had to influence a senior commanding officer or speak professionally to those who outranked you. Moreover, think of your ability to quickly build credibility and trust-based, value-added relationships with others).
- Pursues Pathways to Gold: Following best practices and seeking feedback to develop yourself (consider the times you got feedback, implemented feedback, brought up others in your success and shared best practices).
- Will to Win: Ownership and perseverance in achieving goals (quitting isn’t an option and you do what it takes to overcome and push through setbacks and obstacles).
- Quick Learner: Ability to quickly process new information and draw on existing knowledge to apply to new situations (think about the high-stakes situations you’ve been in where you had to think quickly on your feet).
- Lifelong Learner: Ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge (consider how you are constantly learning new information daily and pursuing continually learning from current experiences, etc.).
- Integrity: Demonstration of honesty, respect and business ethics to clients, co-workers and stakeholders (the foundation on which the military rests… your honor, pride and integrity define you).
How does Gartner support me in my transition into corporate sales?
It all starts with the interview process. Our group of talented recruiters will first assess whether this role is a good fit for you. We don’t want to match you to a role that won’t be fulfilling, as sales is not for everyone. From there, if you decide you want to continue to assess a sales opportunity with Gartner, we will invite you to our Veteran Sales Discovery Program after a series of interviews. Once hired, we help connect you to an internal peer group of veterans who can mentor you, be a support system for you and give you a sense of identity within a smaller group of our organization. You have weekly and monthly cadence meetings with your leaders, mentors and peers, and receive continuous feedback on how you’re progressing and in what areas you can continue to grow.
Are you interested in starting a new career path? Learn more about how you can apply your military experience here.
Are you looking for a job where you’ll do challenging, groundbreaking work? At Gartner, each and every associate has a hand in our success. Learn more about how you can make an impact with your work here.